Greenhouse: Growth Chambers

The growth chambers were purchased in 2000 by a grant from the National Science Foundation, with cost sharing by the University of Massachusetts. Support for renovation of the space was provided by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Research. Other funds came from the Biology Department and the Plant Biology Graduate Program.

The growth chambers were supplied by the Conviron Company, and are located in a room of over 1000 sq ft. that is contiguous with ranges #1 to #4. The equipment was installed in 2001 and includes:

  1. Four PGW-36 large reach-in units with 3.3 m2x 200 cm of growing space. Lighting delivers 960 umoles/m2/sec, and temperatures may be controlled between 4 and 45C with a variation of 0.5C.
  2. Four E7/2 dual compartment units, each of which has 0.76 m2 x 64 cm of growing space. Lighting delivers up to 33 umoles/m2/sec. Temperature ranges are similar to the reach-in chambers. (Four other E7/2 units were also purchased at the same time, but these are located in the Lederle Graduate Research Tower where the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is located.)
  3. One 125L incubator with 5 shelves, lighting and humidity controls, and horizontal airflow patterns.

    All of the growth chambers feature an adjustable, counter balanced light canopy, a sampling tube that allows control at plant canopy height, and a design that permits plants to be placed directly on the floor.
  4. Environmental control: Temperature, lighting and humidity are controlled by the Conviron CMP4030 Operation System, a dedicated computer located in the headhouse. The computer allows multi-day programming and all functions are performed by touching the back-lit, high resolution, VGA liquid crystal display. The program also allows graphing of set point and actual performance, so there is no need for a chart recorder.

The uses of the growth chambers can be found in the teaching and research pages.